Well-deserving of the 2017 Newbery Medal, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Lexile: 640; Interest Level: Grades 3-7) tells a beautiful story of what is versus what could be and makes the reader think about things from multiple perspectives.
Once a year the people of the Protectorate have a Day of Sacrifice, in which the youngest child among them must be taken and left to die in a circle of sycamores in the wood. It is said that this is to appease the Witch who has demanded this sacrifice to keep the people safe.
Once a year, a witch comes down from the top of the mountain to find a baby abandoned in a grove of sycamores. She doesn't know why this happens, but she rescues the child and takes it to the Free Cities and finds a loving family to raise it.
Then comes Luna. A beautiful baby who is so loved by her mother that she must be torn away from her mother's arms for the Sacrifice. So enthralled is the Witch that she accidentally feeds the child moonlight, effectively imbuing her with magic. Xan (the witch) chooses to keep and raise Luna as her granddaughter.
Antain is just a boy when he goes with the Elders to retrieve the child on the Day of Sacrifice, but the heartache of the mother never leaves his mind. He cannot grow to be an Elder, but he has no idea what the future may have in store for him.
To see how the lives of these characters intertwine, you should definitely read The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. (388 p.)
What would it be like if you could hypnotize people and take control of their mind? Would you do with your gift? These are questions that Jax Opus must answer in The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman (Lexile: 850; Interest Level: Grades 4-7).
Jax Opus lives a bit of a charmed life, but he doesn't know it is himself doing the charming. Until the star player on the other team in a basketball championship starts to play badly around Jax on the same day that a crazed bus driver barrels through all of the lights in the city to get him to his destination, Jax didn't really realize that anything about him was different. Then he finds out about hypnotism, and that it is a gift he has inherited from his family. Caught up in a sense of wonder about his newly-recognized abilities and people who want to tell him how to use it, Jax gets sucked into a scheme that can affect the whole world. What should he do? Who should he believe? Read on to find out...
This book is great for readers who want a little bit of fantasy without fairy tale, monsters or magic and a little realistic science fiction. It is a pretty easy read with great adventure. (232 p.)
Harriet is a princess. She is also a hamster. But she is no ordinary hamster princess. She does love playing chess and fractions, but she does NOT enjoy other princess-like activities such as looking melancholy (sad) and walking with perfect posture. So, when Harriet is 10, and she finds out that as a baby she was cursed by an evil fairy to prick her finger and fall into a deep sleep on her 12th birthday, she decides that she is invincible and goes off to have adventures.
If you choose to read Harriet the Invincible (Lexile: 810; Interest Level: Grades 2-5) by Ursula Vernon, you will find adventure, humor, and a few interesting twists on fairy tales. This is a great story for students who want an easy read that breaks through some of the traditional fairy tale rules and has a very spunky female character. It is the first book in the Princess Harriet series. (247 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.